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Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut





Hello guys,

One of my favourite sci-fi video games is Age of Wonders: Planetfall. In this game your units can deal bonus damage to opposing units, if you attack (BOTH melee & ranged) it from it's side or rear (FLANKING).

WHFB lets you gain such advantages as it's rank & file gameplay makes such decisions pretty easy when you are about to determine, if the attack originates from those directions.

A mechanic like this is a bit more difficult to implement into 40K as you can position EACH model of a squad in a way so that it's LOS differs from it's fellow squad members as opposed to the video game where all members from a squad look into the same direction.

Anyway, let's try to introduce the FLANKING rule into 40K:

First we have to establish how LOS works.
Usually it is 90° to the front of a model when we are talking about humanoid models with a pair of eyes set into it's head. This isn't obviously any groundbreaking news as most of 40K creatures fall into such a category.

However when we are talking about vehicles with a crew of multiple people then only the LOS of the driver is taken into account. If you are playing 40K of older editions, then this proposed FLANKING rule doesn't apply to vehicles at all because it had been already taken into account by giving vehicles a Front/Side/Rear armour rating.

How do you measure without a fuss a model's 90° vision arc? You either use the templates from Necromunda or build your own.

How is it determined, if a unit is being flanked or not? I would propose to have a look at each model's LOS of that unit and if 50% or more of it's members DOESN'T have LOS to the origin of the attack then the FLANKING mechanic is applied.

An alternative to that would be to use squad bases as you use regiment bases in WHFB for your models. This might be shocking news to the 40K crowd but you already have such Squad bases in Apocalypse games. The WHOLE squad on such a base will ALWAYS look into the same direction like in WHFB and to decide if an attack is of a FLANKING nature becomes much easier.

And what kind of SPECIFIC bonus does the FLANKING provide? Well, this can't be easily answered as this post doesn't cater to ONLY one edition of 40K. Regardless to that the following boni might be applied either as a whole package or just a few of them:

FLANKING (Ranged) :
- The attacks gain a bonus of +1 to the roll to wound. So if you would previously needed a 4+ to wound it now becomes a 3+ roll.

- Break tests of a unit gain a malus of +1 for EACH opposing unit that caused at least a loss of 25% of the target's CURRENT number of models.
Example: Squad A (10 members/Leadership 9) is being flanked by Squad B, C & D.
Squad B causes the loss of two models from Squad A which is reduced to eight models which doesn't equal a 25% loss.
Then Squad C causes the loss of two further models reducing Squad A to six models which equals a 25% loss.
Then Squad C causes again a loss of two models reducing Squad A from six to only four models which is greater than a 25% loss.
Turn ends and Squad A now has to make a Break test with a combined malus of TWO reducing it's leadership from 9 to 7.

FLANKING (Melee) :
- The attacking unit gains the equivalent of the USR "Always strikes first". If the target unit also has this skill then it is negated.

- Bonus to the roll to wound (see above)

- Break test malus (see above)


Thoughts?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/07 13:13:13


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Hi, Strg Alt. Thanks for the pitch. Unfortunately, I don't think this proposal overcomes the challenges facing those who wish to bring flanking to 40k.
 Strg Alt wrote:

Usually it is 90° to the front of a model when we are talking about humanoid models with a pair of eyes set into it's head. This isn't obviously any groundbreaking news as most of 40K creatures fall into such a category.

Most will, but 40k is a game with some oddly-shaped beasts. So how do you handle models that don't? My buddy once had someone try to argue that his hive guard were incapable of shooting because the models don't have eyes.

Additionall, I have plenty of models that I've put together such that they're looking off to one side while their stance is facing the other or who are in the middle of some convoluted acrobatics. There isn't necessarily an obvious facing for such models.


However when we are talking about vehicles with a crew of multiple people then only the LOS of the driver is taken into account. If you are playing 40K of older editions, then this proposed FLANKING rule doesn't apply to vehicles at all because it had been already taken into account by giving vehicles a Front/Side/Rear armour rating.

Not all (most?) vehicles have an obvious driver as part of the sculpt. And front/side/rear armor could be pretty ambiguous in past editions if you weren't talking about an imperial rectangle.


How do you measure without a fuss a model's 90° vision arc? You either use the templates from Necromunda or build your own.

How is it determined, if a unit is being flanked or not? I would propose to have a look at each model's LOS of that unit and if 50% or more of it's members DOESN'T have LOS to the origin of the attack then the FLANKING mechanic is applied.

My space elves move pretty fast. I feel like I would generally be able to move them out of the 90* vision arc of your units and functionally always get a flanking bonus. I suspect you don't want me to benefit from flanking 90% of the time. And it seems like space marines and space elves should be able to handle an enemy moving slightly to their left; not be suddenly hugely disadvantaged by it.


An alternative to that would be to use squad bases as you use regiment bases in WHFB for your models. This might be shocking news to the 40K crowd but you already have such Squad bases in Apocalypse games. The WHOLE squad on such a base will ALWAYS look into the same direction like in WHFB and to decide if an attack is of a FLANKING nature becomes much easier.

Apocolypse style squad bases wouldn't really solve the facing issue. If I have to use 3 squad bases to hold my 12 man squad, then I've essentially just ended up with a unit containing 3 bases instead of 12. But you'd still have to have an additional mechanic to declare which direction a given squad base or squad as a whole is facing. Basically, this would add steps and reduce your ability to navigate through some terrain pieces without actually solving the flanking problem.


And what kind of SPECIFIC bonus does the FLANKING provide? Well, this can't be easily answered as this post doesn't cater to ONLY one edition of 40K. Regardless to that the following boni might be applied either as a whole package or just a few of them:

Probably a good idea to nail down roughly what the benefits of flanking are. Potent benefits mean that flanking should be harder to pull off. And something like a to-wound modifier is going to be way more useful in any edition than a morale penalty.


FLANKING (Ranged) :
- The attacks gain a bonus of +1 to the roll to wound. So if you would previously needed a 4+ to wound it now becomes a 3+ roll.

In 8th/9th, this seems like it's probably a bit too strong. You'd be doubling the number of succesful wound rolls lasguns and bolters make against T6+ and T8+ targets. You'd be skipping several points of Strength/Toughness difference in many cases. The math just gets wonky, and you'd be upping the lethality of an already very lethal game considerably.


- Break tests of a unit gain a malus of +1 for EACH opposing unit that caused at least a loss of 25% of the target's CURRENT number of models.
Example: Squad A (10 members/Leadership 9) is being flanked by Squad B, C & D.
Squad B causes the loss of two models from Squad A which is reduced to eight models which doesn't equal a 25% loss.
Then Squad C causes the loss of two further models reducing Squad A to six models which equals a 25% loss.
Then Squad C causes again a loss of two models reducing Squad A from six to only four models which is greater than a 25% loss.
Turn ends and Squad A now has to make a Break test with a combined malus of TWO reducing it's leadership from 9 to 7.

That sounds like a huge pain to track, potentially for very little reward depending on the edition.


FLANKING (Melee) :
- The attacking unit gains the equivalent of the USR "Always strikes first". If the target unit also has this skill then it is negated.

Ah, but while your unit A is flanking my unit B, my unit B is also flanking your unit C! So how would that work? Gets messy fast. Also, if you're flanking in melee, there's a good chance it's because you charged this turn. In which case, you'd basically already have "always strikes first". So tying it to flanking just gets you to a similar place with more complication.


- Bonus to the roll to wound (see above)

I feel like you really don't want my wyches and incubi to functionally have the Blood Angels' Red Thirst ability.

Thoughts?

Basically, if you want to add flanking, I think you need a simpler way to determine facing and a different set of benefits for doing so. Off the top of my head:

* For facing, each unit gets a straight-edged marker placed against the base of a model in the unit. You can reposition the counter each time the unit moves and at the end of any phase in which the model "holding" the marker has been removed. To determine whether or not an enemy model is flanking the unit, draw an infinity long and thin line along that straight edge. If the model is wholly behind the line, they are flanking the unit. Note that this doesn't work great in melee, but I also question whether flanking really makes sense in 40k melee given that it's often described as a swirling, chaotic thing rather than two rectangles pushing against each other.

* For benefits, you probably want something relatively tame. Ignore light cover or reroll to-wound rolls of 1 or something. Really, it's not that hard to just shoot a target from the other side, so the benefits should probably be minor.

*Alternatively, and I think I like this better, don't have an explicit "flanking" mechanic. Instead, just have various stratagems and abilities that include lines like, "Draw a line between friendly units within X inches of each other. Select an enemy unit that that line passes over/under/through. For the rest of the phase, you may...<insert benefits here>."

So rather than fiddling with facing, you can impose buffs and debuffs when dealing with an enemy caught in the crossfire of your units. It's not that units of space marines are incapable of turning to face a threat on their left; it's that they have threats on both their left and their right and they're suffering the downsides of being "flanked" in such a manner.

Can I draw a 12" line between my striking scorpions and their dire avenger pals with your unit in the middle? Then I can spend 1CP to to say that those avengers are distracting you from the sneaky scorpions thus giving them a bonus on their charge roll. (Or whatever.) Lets you customize the benefits of flanking a bit rather than running into one-size-fits-all issues.
   
Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut





Hmm, only one reply? Please don't lurk and give your two cents as well.

Hive Guard & Odd models:
If it's not stated in the background info that the unit in question has a 360° visual perception of it's surroundings then the default rules apply.
The above mentioned video game includes units which can't be flanked. This is either achieved by "modding" a unit (equivalent to this in 40K would be to either add specific war gear or veteran skills as in 4th edition) or giving a character a specific skill. However, only a very few number of units should gain such a perk from the beginning.

Off the top of my head the following units in 40K COULD profit from this ability right from the start to never get flanked. All units apart from vehicles would lose this ability as soon as their mobility is restricted in any way:

- Imperial Assassin (all temples)
- Solitaire
- Genestealer Broodlord
- Land Raider (armour plating of 14 on all sides)

Another factor which could be considered would be the 40K Dodge skill from 2nd. It represents an uncanny ability to evade harm from all directions which is on par to never get flanked. Further models to add to the above list would then be to my knowledge:

- Eldar Exarchs
- All special characters that have an ability either through training or wargear which mimics said Dodge skill.



No obvious driver location:
All models have a front and from there you can apply the 90° vision arc.


Squad bases:
Yes, they interfere with terrain. A third solution would be to not use squad bases but to implement a rule that all squad members have to face towards the same direction.


Flanking too strong in 8th/9th:
A flanking maneuver should yield a significant advantage and give encouragement for players moving their models across the board edge. Other tabletop games encourage such maneuvers to outflank the opponent so why shouldn't 40K? The absence of such a rule in the core rules needs therefore to be addressed.

I have been playing 40K for a decade with alternating unit activation. This lessens the first turn advantage and gives both players equal opportunity in a given turn.

Too deadly for 8th/9th? I can't judge this as I have only played one game of 8th. Might be true or not.


Issues with Incubi:
The Flanking rule is a general rule which can be used by all armies. To suggest that I have in mind to cripple a specific faction with it is ludicrous.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/08 12:13:13


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Strg Alt wrote:
Hmm, only one reply? Please don't lurk and give your two cents as well.
Hive Guard & Odd models:
If it's not stated in the background info that the unit in question has a 360° visual perception of it's surroundings then the default rules apply.

Okay, but that still leaves a fair few cases where it's potentially ambiguous. Wraith guard don't have eyes. They do have "spirit sight", but it's not entirely clear whether that particular form of viewing their surroundings is full or partially omni-directional. And I have harlequins modeled as doing backflips and such that mean their legs are "facing" one direction while their actual face is pointed the opposite direction. And plenty of my models are built with their guns pointed one direction but their heads turned to look backwards, at allies, etc. Some models have multiple heads and might be considered to be "facing" multiple directions at once.

If facing is going to be a major part of the game, there should probably be an easy, clear-cut way for both players to identify a model's facing without being dependent on the lore.


No obvious driver location:
All models have a front and from there you can apply the 90° vision arc.

The tricky part is where exactly that front begins and ends though. The "front sides" of a devilfish are rounded. So where on those 'circles' do you consider the front arc to end? 45 degrees off from the forward-most rim? 90 degrees? The difference there could give you a dramatically larger or smaller "blind spot." Or do you jump all the way back to the engines on the rear sides of the vehicle because they're (if I'm not mistaken) slightly further to the sides than those round drone ports at the front?

In a gentlemen's game, the players can probably sort of hand waive the specifics, but I feel that there really ought to be a rule for determining facing that doesn't have a lot of ambiguity if you intend for facing to have a big impact on the game. The issue of facing comes up any time someone pitches a return to armour values for vehicles, and people often end up going, "Well I guess someone would have to draw a picture explicitly saying where the front of each vehicle is, I guess." Which is a solution that, in addition to creating a fair bit of work, isn't really ideal.

And I still maintain that it's weird to be vulnerable in 3 out of 4 directions. Is being shot from 91 degrees to my left really a reason for bolters to wound my wave serpent on 4+ instead of 5+.


Squad bases:
Yes, they interfere with terrain. A third solution would be to not use squad bases but to implement a rule that all squad members have to face towards the same direction.

Okay, but then you still have to come up with a way to mark or otherwise indicate what that direction is. At which point, requiring everyone to face the same direction becomes less valuable as a rule and, I'd argue, slightly annoying to have to fiddle with when moving large numbers of models.


Flanking too strong in 8th/9th:
A flanking maneuver should yield a significant advantage and give encouragement for players moving their models across the board edge. Other tabletop games encourage such maneuvers to outflank the opponent so why shouldn't 40K? The absence of such a rule in the core rules needs therefore to be addressed.

If flanking should yield a significant advantage (and I'm all for it doing so), then the decisions made to allow a unit to flank should probably themselves be significant. If space marines fail a 6" charge against my dire avengers, then I will almost certainly have the option to move my avengers into flanking position on the following turn by virtue of move between 8" and 13" (depending on my advance roll). You'd think space marines would be paying enough attention to the guys right in front of them that they were actively trying to charge not be considered "flanked". The "flanking" is only happening because I move quickly in an IGoYouGo environment. And avengers are a relatively slow craftworld unit. My swooping hawks move a minimum of 15" when they advance. If you end your turn anywhere in their general vicinity, it will be fairly easy for me to move them out of your 90 degree arc and get flanking benefits.



I have been playing 40K for a decade with alternating unit activation. This lessens the first turn advantage and gives both players equal opportunity in a given turn.

Glad you're enjoying your AA system. That's not particularly relevant to this particular topic though, right? If your intent is to pitch these rules specifically in combination with an AA turn system (probably a much larger and more significant change than the introduction of flanking), then that changes the context of the flanking rules dramatically. But you've said that your intent is to discuss these rules in the context of multiple systems including official current and past editions of 40k.


Too deadly for 8th/9th? I can't judge this as I have only played one game of 8th. Might be true or not.

I've played a fair bit of both. I feel strongly that giving your opponent +1 to wound for standing slightly to the side would be problematically powerful. I feel strongly that having to track how many models of a given unit were killed by which enemy units would be an annoying amount of bookkeeping and would likely slow down the game. I also feel that both of those effects would benefit different armies asymmetrically. Do you have any other suggestions for what the specific effects of flanking might be?


Issues with Incubi:
The Flanking rule is a general rule which can be used by all armies. To suggest that I have in mind to cripple a specific faction with it is ludicrous.

I think you may have misread my post. I'm not suggesting that you're trying to nerf incubi or deny them access to flanking. The Red Thirst is a powerful rule which, similarly to your proposed flanking benefits, grants +1 to to-wound rolls in melee. I was drawing a comparison between your rule and that existing rule in an effort to give you an idea of just how powerful +1 to is as an ability. You'd be giving the same benefits as a rule that only works in melee and only when you charge and only when you're playing a specific chapter of space marines to any unit in the game that stands slightly to the left of their target.
   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

Your suggestion seems ill defined and poorly thought out. Little more than throwing a general concept at the board.

Personally, determining unit facing is a big problem. Even if the "front" of every model was perfectly clear (which is isn't), it's be an annoying and time consuming process lining up the facing of your dudes just-so every time you moved.

With the IgoUgo system such as it is, that facing doesn't even matter much as at close ranges your opponent can quite easily just walk around the sides to get a flank.
Some historical games solve this by allowing a unit (generally a single tank) to follow one enemy unit per turn as it moves, maintaining frontal armour. It works but it's fairly clunky.

Then the benefit you get, +1 to-wound is a big benefit and honestly doesn't even make sense a lot of the time.
The suggest moral rules would just be a huge PITA.
   
Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut





@Wyldhunt:

Harlequins and models with crazy stances:
You can mark the side of a model's base to show it's front.

Difficulties with the break test modifier:
This is actually REALLY simple to track. All you need are unit cards and tokens which show different kind of status effects.

The Rumbleslam game operates with such a mechanic. Each wrestler has a stat card and all different status tokens are placed onto it. And yes, Rumbleslam can be played with multiple wrestlers at the same time which means there shouldn't be a problem with 40K either.

I prepared unit cards for two of my armies today and will try the new rules in a game:

- CSM (8 units)
- Chaos Daemons (7 units)

Furthermore I will post a "BatRep in Pics" on this forum as I have done in the past.

   
Made in us
Confessor Of Sins




Tacoma, WA, USA

Flanking is about attacking an opponent from multiple directions, making it difficult to impossible for them to effectively engage and defend both opponents at the same time. Therefore any flanking mechanic should be concentrated on the angle "degree" of the attacking units relative to the target unit. If attacks are coming from 90 degrees relative to each other, that makes it hard to defend. If they are 180 degrees from each other, that's nearly impossible to get good defensive posture without excellent cover. Even then, it is hard to shoot at one opponent when another is shooting at your back.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut







Looking at the definition of flanking...

So take a squad of troops, and arrange them in a circle so that their backs are all facing inward.

You want to explain to everyone that the heroic last stand formation is the "I want to be flanked by everyone" formation?
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut



London

So Epic Armageddon struggled with this as units weren't infantry blocks with sides and rears and each turn was around 15 minutes of realtime (from memory). Eventually it hit upon a neat solution. If you wanted to implement it in the 40k it would serve the same effect, though would change the balance of armies quite a bit (terminators showing up behind your lines really would throw you into disarray). Also the 45cm distance is probably a bit much for 40k as the board is smaller and model densities far higher.

Crossfire - text is from the rulebook at
http://epic-uk.co.uk/rules/m1320000_EPIC_updated_rulebook-sections_1-4_Oct09.pdf

To represent this, formations are allowed to use the following rules to claim a crossfire bonus when they shoot. You can claim the crossfire bonus if you can draw a straight line up to 45cm long from any of the units in the shooting formation to any unit in another friendly formation and this line crosses a unit from the target formation or the gap between two units from the target formation.

The friendly unit that the crossfire line is drawn to must have a line of fire to a unit from the target formation, but does not have to be in range with any of its weapons. You may not use units that are in broken or marching formations to claim the crossfire bonus.

All units from a formation caught in a crossfire suffer a -1 save modifier. This may result in some units automatically failing their saving throw. Some terrain features or special rules may counter this modifier (see 1.8.4 and 2.1.16). In addition, a formation caught in a crossfire attack receives two Blast markers for the first unit destroyed by the attack, rather than just one Blast marker for the destroyed unit as would usually be the case (see 1.9.4).
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




@The_Real_Chris:
Yeah, that sounds sort of like what I was pitching above. Basing "flanking" on having an enemy to either side of you makes way more sense than giving it to any enemy that happens to jog off to your side. Unit facing sort of makes sense in a rank & flank game like Fantasy where tightly-packed marching formations could have trouble remaining coherent while wheeling around to track an enemy's movements. But 40k squads are generally more fluid and agile than that.

Plus, making flanking a tag-team operation gives a lot more utility to units that don't have as much raw offense. Regular guardsmen become much more useful when they're suddenly granting bonuses to the units that just deepstruck/outflanked behind the enemy. Ditto swooping hawks and striking scorpions.

I'm not necessarily sold on -1 to saves being the one-size-fits-all bonus for outflanking, but it would make sense from a fluff perspective. Would it be better to not have a generic flanking benefit and instead tie it to various stratagems and unit abilities?

"When this unit charges a flanked enemy unit..."

"This unit may forego its shooting to target a flanked enemy unit within x". Until the end of the turn..."
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran




Yeah, flanking in 40k is an interesting idea, but is better framed as bonuses for "surrounding" an enemy. Which already sort of exists, in that it's very hard to Fall Back if you're enveloped this way, but could be made broader. One mechanic I came up with for an abortive T'au rewrite was a CROSSFIRE keyword:
Each time you select a target for a friendly T'AU EMPIRE model to shoot, you can select another T'AU EMPIRE unit from your army that made any ranged attacks against the same target in this phase. Draw a line between any part of the shooting model's base and any part of the selected unit's bases (or hulls); if the line passes over or through the target enemy unit, the shooting model gains the CROSSFIRE keyword until that ranged attack is resolved.

And then you could have Stratagems or abilities which boost attacks made by CROSSFIRE models, etc.

Straightforward "facing" simply doesn't work without a fundamental rewrite of the game's expectations (and bases, frankly), especially if you're using TLOS. I've written up a few alternatives to mimic unit facing in more plug-in ways, but it's still a very big change.

EDIT: These are examples of what I'm talking about:
The first time you set up a unit on the battlefield, you must select a board edge or a board quarter. That board edge (or the sections of board edge inside that board quarter) is the unit's Facing Edge; you may wish to place a token by it as a reminder.
  • Forward March: When a unit makes a Normal Move, Advances, Falls Back, or makes a charge move, it cannot end that move further away from its Facing Edge than it started.
  • Reform: Once per turn, when you select a unit to make a Normal Move or Fall Back, you can change its Facing Edge to any other adjacent board edge or board quarter. Once per turn, when you select a unit to Remain Stationary, you can change its Facing Edge to any other board edge or board quarter.
  • Line Of Sight: When you need to determine what is visible to a unit, draw an imaginary straight line (the “line of sight”) between the base of any model in that unit and its Facing Edge. If the line passes over or through something, it is visible to that unit.
  • Positioning: All units have a Front, a Rear, and Flanks. A model is positioned to a unit’s Front if you can draw an imaginary straight line between a unit and its Facing Edge which passes over or through that model. A model is positioned to a unit’s Rear if you can draw an imaginary straight line between that model and the unit’s Facing Edge which passes over that unit. All other models are positioned to its Flanks.

  • Each unit in your army has one model that acts as its leader, chosen by you when mustering your army. A unit leader cannot be damaged or removed from play unless it is the last model in that unit; damage or remove other models in the unit instead. Sometimes a unit leader will have a different profile, special wargear, or other abilities. These are detailed in its datasheet.
  • Forward March: When a unit makes any kind of move, you must first move the unit leader, then move each other model in the unit. At no point during a model's move can it move further away from the unit leader's new position, unless forced to do so by interceding models or the edge of the battlefield. The Forward March rule does not apply when a unit Falls Back or Consolidates.
  • Line of Sight: When measuring range or determining line of sight for a unit, always measure from its unit leader. The unit leader cannot “see” through models in its own unit.
  • Positioning: All units have a Front and Flanks. A model is positioned to a unit’s Front if you can draw an imaginary straight line between that model and the unit leader which doesn’t pass over any other models in the unit. All other models are positioned to its Flanks.
  • Reform: Once per turn, when you pick a unit to make a Normal Move, you can declare that it will Reform. When a unit Reforms, remove that unit's leader from the battlefield and set it up again anywhere in unit coherency. Each other model in the unit can then move as normal. A unit that Reforms cannot shoot or charge later in the same turn.
  • This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/05/11 14:50:12


     
       
    Made in de
    Longtime Dakkanaut





    @The Real Chris:
    I have a printed version of the Epic rules. Just had a look at them.

    The Epic game works in a different scale than 40K where the sole appliance of either force or presence of units grants you immediately some sort of bonus WITHOUT having to roll a single dice.

    Example:
    - Unit A shoots Unit B. Unit B receives a Blast marker before a single dice is being rolled because the sheer torrent of firepower directed at an enemy position is enough to throw them in some kind of disarray. Unit B doesn't even need to be hit to receive that Blast marker.

    - The above mentioned Crossfire rule requires another unit to be in the vicinity of the target unit (details in your posted text). The other friendly unit doesn't need to roll a single dice to apply it's effect. It works like a passive bonus.


    I have played 40K from 2nd to 5th and whenever you wanted to cause harm from afar each unit had to use some kind of dice rolling. So while I think the rule is fine for Epic it is a bit jarring for 40K.

    Another aspect which would be odd in 40K is that the 2nd unit doesn't even have to be in weapon range in order to grant the requirement for the Crossfire rule. Again, such an abstract rule is okay in Epic where in large scale battles the deafening noise of weapons is sufficient to undermine the resolve of soldiers.
    But 40K is a skirmish affair (yes, i know of scale creep and the growth of armies from edition to edition) compared to unrestrained warfare in Epic.


    The only instances in 40K where units can harm opponents without rolling dice was during 4th to my knowledge. Retreating/broken units which flee from close combat had to flee in a so called "corridor" towards the deployment zone of their owner. If that way was either blocked by impassable terrain or other models (except their former cc opponents) and the unit would have needed to backtrack as a consequence, then it would be destroyed immediately.


    @Wyldhunt:
    Jogging past units for flanking:
    Units on the battlefield don't have perfect, eagle-eyed perception of their surroundings like you do as the general pushing them around on the board. There may be smoke, rain, explosions, cries of the wounded, etc. to distract the soldiers. If you have left your unit exposed and it got shot in the back or flank, the opponent just outmaneuvered you. This would make positioning of models with a creature profile more important than in the past.


    Alternative Activation:
    This playmode has become second nature to me over the years and therefore it didn't occur to me as very relevant to mention it in the initial post.
       
    Made in us
    Dakka Veteran






    In Age of Wonders games, flanking gets triggered typically when you attack a unit with two or more of your own units from different angles. The first time you shoot at a unit, the unit "spins" to face the attacker - the second time you shoot at the same target, it doesn't "spin" and so you if you're hitting the unit from "behind" then you get the flanking bonus.

    The cleaner way to handle it in 40k would be, for example, when you shoot at a unit determine the "center point" of the first firing unit to the target unit. Draw a line between these points and call it the "zero-degree line". Now, if the target is attacked a second time in the same turn by a unit with its center point more than 90-degrees off the zero-line you get a flanking bonus.

    I don't really know what the flanking bonus should be exactly. I'm inclined to make it a morale test modifier - but 8th/9th ed morale rules are garbage. That would work better in older editions I think.



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    Made in de
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    @Mezmorki:
    Your description of the Age of Wonders: Planetfall flanking procedure is not correct as you only need a single unit attacking the target from the rear or flank to be rewarded with the extra damage bonus.
    The determining factor for the flanking bonus is to be outside of the target's 90° vision arc when you start the attack.

       
    Made in us
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     Strg Alt wrote:

    @Wyldhunt:
    Jogging past units for flanking:
    Units on the battlefield don't have perfect, eagle-eyed perception of their surroundings like you do as the general pushing them around on the board. There may be smoke, rain, explosions, cries of the wounded, etc. to distract the soldiers. If you have left your unit exposed and it got shot in the back or flank, the opponent just outmaneuvered you. This would make positioning of models with a creature profile more important than in the past.


    Your marines and my swooping hawks are facing each other. Your marines move straight towards the hawks, shoot at them, and then fail a charge. On my turn, those swooping hawks fly directly over your marines' heads, give a noogie to the sergeant for good measure, land a few inches behind the marines, and shoot at the marines. My strength 3 guns wound you on a 4+ because you've been "flanked." By a single unit. That you were actively shooting at and trying to stab a moment before. We agree that your marines don't necessarily have perfect perception of the battlefield, but my hawks getting flanking bonuses in this scenario still seems a bit odd, no?

    Our units don't have our fourth wall-breaking perfect perception of the battlefield, but letting an enemy "outflank" them because the game mechanics require that they stop turning their heads during their opponent's turn feels at least as strange as assuming tactical marines are aware of nearby threats.

    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I feel you might be digging your heels on regarding the facing mechanic a bit too much. By getting rid of facing as a mechanic and instead granting flanking bonuses when a line can be drawn between two attacking units, you...

    * ... get rid of all the messy facing problems that have been pointed out in this thread.
    * ... make units that lack offense more useful by allowing them to set up units that do have offense.
    * ... make flanking a reward for coordinating the positioning of multiple units (instead of a thing my swooping hawks get for free when they hop over your head or jog to your left.)

    There is a discussion to be had regarding what qualifies for granting flanking/crossfire benefits though. My guardians' 12" range shuriken catapults probably shouldn't be contributing to crossfire against a target 30" away, for instance. And my incubi with no guns but who are 6" away from you and clearly preparing to charge should *maybe* be freaking you out enough to grant outflanking benefits to the unit on the other side of you?

    @RevildRas: I really like something akin to crossfire as a major part of the tau playstyle. I'm not sold on all of the specifics, but having an incentive to utilize tau mobility to help their shooting would go a long way towards making them "feel" right.


    Alternative Activation:
    This playmode has become second nature to me over the years and therefore it didn't occur to me as very relevant to mention it in the initial post.

    Understandable that you wouldn't think to mention a rule (set) that you've grown used to. It's definitely a huge change to the game (and not one that most 40k players are using) though. I'm sure you can see how such an assumption would impact flanking and many (most?) of the other pitches here in the proposed rules section.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/12 23:07:50


     
       
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    @Wyldhunt:
    Yes, in your example those jump pack troops could claim a flanking bonus and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. In fact, fast vehicles and jump packers are designed to benefit from flanking as often as they can.

    Though there is one aspect that your ignoring in your example which is disregarding the remaining action on the battlefield.
    After those jump packers have made their move (jumping over the marines, turning around and shooting) they have exposed themselves and are going to be shot at by other friendly marine units who might even claim a flanking bonus themselves.


    Vision Arc:
    Vision arc is for me a key element of 40K which I started playing in 2nd. I could understand the motive of younger players who think this is a hassle because they grew up with newer editions and are used to predator battle tanks driving in reverse and showing their rear to the opponent's biggest guns. Such simplified play would take me out of the game instantly.


       
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     Strg Alt wrote:
    @Wyldhunt:
    Yes, in your example those jump pack troops could claim a flanking bonus and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. In fact, fast vehicles and jump packers are designed to benefit from flanking as often as they can.

    The hawks were used as an example because their high Movement stat plus the Fly keyword makes it especially easy for them to get out of an enemy's 90* arc. Non-jump infantry like dire avengers can still move up to 13" (without Fly) and shoot their guns without penalty, so they'd have a pretty easy time pulling off the same shenanigans.

    Is it fair to say that you picture units having a flanking advantage against their targets more often than not? I feel like that's what your proposed rules would result in. If so, fair enough. But if the benefits of flanking are as extreme as +1 to wound, then you'd be talking about an extreme shakeup of game balance. You'd basically need to rebalance the game around the assumption that every unit is going to have +1 to wound more often than not. You could probably find a balanced redesign that works with that assumption in mind, but I'm not personally sold on the idea that the benefits to gameplay would be worth the work, added complication, and added bookkeeping. (And I definitely wouldn't want to use a change like that in a vacuum with no other changes to accomodate it.) Especially given that others have pitched some simpler, less book-keepy, less balance-upsetting methods of representing the general concept of flanking a unit.


    Though there is one aspect that your ignoring in your example which is disregarding the remaining action on the battlefield.
    After those jump packers have made their move (jumping over the marines, turning around and shooting) they have exposed themselves and are going to be shot at by other friendly marine units who might even claim a flanking bonus themselves.

    That's a thing, sure. But my main point was more to illustrate the silliness of the scenario and the fluff-crunch dissonance that results from it. In the scenario described, the space marines get hurt worse than usual by the swooping hawks because said marines are assumed to freeze in place while the enemy is moving and/or have a serious lack of object permanence that allows them to be bamboozled by a unit they were focused on during their own turn.


    Vision Arc:
    Vision arc is for me a key element of 40K which I started playing in 2nd. I could understand the motive of younger players who think this is a hassle because they grew up with newer editions and are used to predator battle tanks driving in reverse and showing their rear to the opponent's biggest guns. Such simplified play would take me out of the game instantly.

    To each their own. If 2nd edition with AA is more your jam, more power to you. Happy gaming. I started playing in 5th edition. Having played with and without armour facing, I've found that ditching it and the complications/ambiguities/frustrations that stem from it are worthwhile. But that topic has been well-trod in any of the threads concerning armour facing.
       
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    Bristol (UK)

    I quite like the idea of the apocalypse rendition of flanking. Keeping track of the facing of individual infantry models is a pain in the arse, as is determining the facing of the unit as derived from those individual models.

    It also doesn't feel realistic to me, as it makes the inherent abstraction of taking turns all the more obvious as being unrealistic.

    Getting flanking if you can draw a line across an enemy to a unit doesn't solve the issue, for example in that example of Swooping Hawks, they can fly over the Marines and now not only are they getting the flanking bonus but the entire rest of the army is also getting a flanking bonus.
    But at least now you're not having to assume the Marines just freeze-framed facing forwards, completely ignoring the unit they were just shooting at.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/14 09:05:50


     
       
     
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